‘Merciless’ Hurricane Maria lashes Dominica

Sailors process service members evacuated from St. Thomas. Credit: Official U.S. Navy Page

Hurricane Maria battered the small island nation of Dominica early Tuesday morning. 

Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a Facebook post that the damage he has seen and heard is “mind-boggling” and “merciless.” His own home’s roof was swept away by the storm late last night.

“My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured,” Skerrit wrote. “We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite imagery of Hurricane Maria churning toward the Irma-hit Caribbean island belt on Sept. 18, 2017. Credit: CBS News

With maximum sustained winds of over 160 mph, the National Hurricane Center recently boosted the hurricane to a Category 5.

No deaths or injuries have been reported, as of 11 a.m. EST today. Hurricane Maria will approach Montserrat, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this evening and Wednesday, the NHC forecasted.

President Donald Trump granted the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts “at its discretion” ahead of Maria’s next landfalls, according to a statement from the White House

This year’s hurricane season, which has formed double the average number of storms to date, according to USA TODAY, ends Nov. 30.

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